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Deadline viewers frustrated by slow start to Channel 5 thriller

Deadline star Charlie Murphy plays accused murderer Natalie Varga in the Channel 5 thriller.
Deadline star Charlie Murphy plays accused murderer Natalie Varga in the Channel 5 thriller. (Image credit: Channel 5)

*Warning - spoilers for episode one of Deadline below*

Deadline kicked off on Channel 5 this week, with viewers tuning in to the new thriller about a woman accused of murdering her husband, but so far people aren't entirely convinced by the pacing.

The thriller tells the story of Natalie Varga (played by Peaky Blinders star Charlie Murphy), but as the story unfolds it seems the public has already turned on the character and Deadline fans are determined to get to the truth about what really happened to Natalie's husband.

In the first episode, she meets investigative journalist James Aiden (James D'Arcy), who has got a few scandals of his own and he's hoping that delving into Natalie's case can help his career. At first, he thinks she's guilty too but eventually becomes more interested in her story.

Charlie Murphy as Natalie Varga, exiting her home via strong security gate, looking warily to the side, wearing a white suit over a black blouse with white polka dots and carrying a black leather clutch bag

Charlie Murphy as Natalie Varga. (Image credit: Channel 5)

James was stuck making trashy documentaries, and considered Natalie's case to be 'the opportunity of a lifetime' and something that could make or break his career, but is he in way over his head?

But despite the intriguing premise, viewers have found themselves frustrated by how slow the drama is, with some struggling to get hooked on the latest Channel 5 offering due to its unengaging pace.

Others are more forgiving and have decided they'll 'stick with it'. Taking to Twitter, fans have shared their initial thoughts on the first episode, and it's mixed so far...

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Despite complaints, the first episode ended with a massive twist and definitely something that TV fans weren't expecting. Usually, in these dramas, the killer isn't revealed until the very end, but Deadline has chosen to end its first episode with a huge revelation.

In shocking scenes, Natalie revealed that her brother, Oliver, is alive and responsible for her husband's murder, despite previously claiming that he had taken his own life four years earlier. But just how true are her claims?

Fans will have to wait until the next episode to find out more, and hopefully the second part will be more engaging for viewers. With three more parts to go, it will be interesting to see how the series progresses over time.

Deadline continues on Channel 5 at 9pm on Wednesday, April 6. Episodes are available on-demand via My5 once they've aired.

Lucy Buglass
Lucy Buglass

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress